The FIFA World Cup is still regarded as the most prestigious tournament in world football; and with Russia’s 2018 edition almost at our doorstep, many players will be seeking to write their names in the history books.
7. Paulo Dybala –Argentina
The Argentinian has already won the hearts of Juventus fanatics, as well as that of all admirers of Italian calcio. Argentina’s national team is in desperate need for a new hero to emerge out of the blue and help them get out of their current miserable state; will Dybala be the one?
6. Kylian Mbappé –France
Kylian Mbappé has conquered the hearts of all the lovers of French football. We saw the 18-year old scoring 6 goals in the UEFA Champions League last season, to guide AS Monaco to the semi-finals of the edition, for the first time since 2004. Les Bleus are a factory of talents, but Mbappe might well be the most promising one among a galaxy of rising gems.
5. Gabriel Jesus –Brazil
When it comes to international football, it is hard to think of any other youngster who is as crucial for his country-side, as Gabriel Jesus is. The influence that Gabriel has had in official World Cup qualifiers is just immense. The Man City star dreams to emulate the footsteps of his number one idol Ronaldo Nazario.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo –Portugal
In the summer of 2016, the Portuguese was able to guide his nation to the first major title in its history, upon claiming the Euro Cup. An achievement which no doubt, cemented Cristiano’s legacy as one of the greatest footballers in the history of the game. All eyes will be set on CR7 to deliver on the world’s biggest footballing stage.
3. Toni Kroos –Germany
Germany are, as always, one of the biggest favorites to emerge victorious in any tournament they take part in. Kroos was regarded by many as the best player in the 2014 World Cup, as he was the most important man in Germany’s midfield and without him, they may not have even reached the final.
For the motivation, a triumph in Russia would mean matching Brazil’s record of 5 World Cups.
2. Neymar Jr. –Brazil
Neymar shocked the whole world when he completed his move from FC Barcelona to PSG in the summer; but he can’t stop proving why this controversial decision could be exactly what he needed to reach the next level.
The 25-year old is set to guide PSG in the UEFA Champions League, as the main man. This will be a great preparation for him, ahead of leading his national team in the FIFA World Cup.
1. Lionel Messi –Argentina
Lionel Messi has been terrorizing European defences for over a decade now; but what the Barça star is still missing, is a major achievement with Argentina’s first team. Messi will be motivated more than he has ever been throughout his glorious career, as Russia 2018 will almost certainly be his last chance to win the World Cup.
There is one last golden chance to achieve the biggest title in world football, which is El Mundial. And when the Tango star is on fire, it would be extremely complicated for any defence to stop. He proved it recently with Ecuador; and that might have been an introduction.